Communication to members from the Secretary General

Brothers and sisters. Allow me to express my sincere gratitude to you for the unwavering support you have continued to accord our union. Indeed this is a journey we have embarked on, and we should strive to keep travelling until we get to our desired destination. Fact is, we can only achieve this if we stubbornly insist on sticking together and moving as a team.

The last few months have been a most crucial and important period of our growth. We have been laying, and continue to lay down structures which are going to result in a strong and effective union. For more than 2 years we have continued to exist without solid administrative, financial, communication and other important structures. This has constantly placed us at a vulnerable place, seriously impeding our effectiveness and general operations as a union. We have made considerable progress in creating functional branches. Our intention is now to have them fully operational well before the end of this month. This move will mark a big leap in our growth and establishment. Considerable amounts of responsibility and mandate will be devolved to the branches for greater efficiency in our operations. We have also witnessed a paradigm shift in the way we handle important, sensitive official information within our union. It is my hope and intention that this trend will continue.

We have been working on a whole load of issues affecting the welfare of our members.

CBA/SRC

I am excited to announce that the CBA negotiations were successfully completed in good time in line with our anticipated implementation calendar. The remuneration aspects of the consensus document have since been submitted to the SRC for the requisite scrutiny and advice. Accordingly, we have embarked on strategic lobbying, whose intention is to justifying our demand for a substantially higher pay. We have also purposed to request for the speeding up of the process of scrutiny so that the results from SRC may be received on time to have the overall document signed soon enough. Our projected effective date of implementation remains 1st July 2013. We have also embarked on careful lobbying of the PSs so as to facilitate the prompt signing of the final document. This process has been difficult and demanding. I must take this opportunity to recognize the efforts and sacrifice by the members of the union's CBA negotiation team. At this juncture, the ball now moves into your court as members. Take time and make deliberate efforts to lobby whenever an opportunity arises. Talk to anyone and everyone who may be of help so that we don't lose this golden opportunity to improve our pay and other working conditions. There is an express requirement that the contents of the CBA remain within the negotiating team until it is signed. I will whoever be sharing some important aspects of the document with our branch leaders so that members can get to have an indication of what has been negotiated for them. All i can say for now is that, we have a terrific document! There have been fears among our membership that our salaries will be chopped following the trend that was witnessed in the guidelines for State Officers. Our position is that we not only expect a pay rise, but a substantial one for that matter. I hope we are attending the public hearings and making our submissions accordingly.

HSC/Constitution review

The establishment of the HSC is still on track. We encountered an unfortunate hitch which brought about unprecedented delays. The plan was to have the HSC established under an act of parliament. It was however noted that this would result in some conflict between the provisions of this act and the those of the constitution. These conflicts were picked up by the Nyachae led Constitution Implementation Commission (CIC). The Revenue Allocation Commission also raised some objections leading to the withdrawal of the bill for purposes of thrashing out the discrepancies before re-introduction to parliament. It is unlikely that all discrepancies can be straightened up. This will mean that we lobby for the passing of the bill with them, with the view of correcting the anomaly in a referendum later. To this end, we have approved that i strengthen the HSC implementation committee so that it can spearhead activities to create this crucial Commission. The strengthened committee will also be responsible for the review of our union constitution. The constitution review process will have a definite timeline to ensure that it is concluded on time.

Salaries and Promotions

We have been following up on reinstatement of salaries, payment of arrears, delayed promotions and other related HR issues for our members. I put out several requests for affected members to send in their details to the official union email addresses. Many of the members who responded in this way have had their problem addressed. Some are still to be concluded but i am optimistic that the last of them will be addressed within the next few weeks. This has been a difficult task. Some members have chosen to post their problems on Facebook instead of sending it to the office. In the office is an administrator whose job is to categorize your individual problems and package them for effective action. We don't have a mechanism of tracking problems on facebook. I am hereby making the final request for any outstanding individual HR issues. We will continue receiving these until the close of business on Friday the 22nd of February. Moving forward we want to focus on fewer individual member issues. Our intention to engage a lawyer to help handle these individual member issues more effectively was strongly resisted by members. Since our intention is to serve the best interest of our membership. This intention was shelved. We will therefore expect members to make their own arrangements for individual issues with legal implication since we lack the capacity and expertise to provide resident legal support.

Absorption of new doctors/Registrars

The plan to absorb 157 doctors into public service aborted last year due to the disbandment of the PSC. I am glad to say that the PSC has now been reconstituted. We are following up with the PSC for prioritization of the advertisement of these slots. According to the information, only 100 slots will be advertised for MOs while an additional 25 will be reserved for consultants owing to service need. There are some technicalities regarding the remaining 32 slots. We will be seeking to have these technicalities resolved, so that as many doctors are absorbed as possible as a means of mitigating the suffering they continue to experience while studying and specializing. We are still having problems resolving the problem surrounding the registration of part I registrars. Dr. Masika is pursuing the requirement that the DMS writes a commitment letter to the university before registration of these members is allowed. Regarding the 2010/2011 group, the Ministry of Medical Services has expressly stated that no payments will be made for this group. This bears legal implications. We will try to seek the services of a lawyer on part time basis, to interpret the decision and advice us accordingly. We also intend to get legal counsel on the case of the foreign based post graduate students who have had their allowances withdrawn. Our follow up revealed that this action is in line with the provisions of the COR. We have however been advised that some reprieve may be obtained through demonstrating precedence (now these are the kind of issues we should not broadcast on facebook because our enemy will learn of our plan and prepare for us, so that when we arrive, they will floor us).

Internship

We have set up a dedicated team under the leadership of the Vice Chairman Dr. Vitalis Ogolla, which is closely pursuing the posting of these fellow officers. Work is in progress. We are encountering the expected obstacles as well as making gains but we are focused on meeting our objective on time.

Accounts

We have approved the services of a part time accountant, who will be helping us prepare our periodical accounts. These will be shared with the branches quarterly for the perusal of members. We want to manage our union finances in a transparent manner so that members can be enlightened about the work their contributions are doing. The remunerations and expenditure committee has all but completed their work on setting up structures for expenditure within the ranks of the union. I am expecting to receive the final report from them anytime from now for implementation.

Other activities.

We are looking for funds to have a training for national and branch officials on labour matters. It is now important that we start to appreciate exactly what the roles and mandate of our union is. The various duties and responsibilities of organs and individuals at different levels, rules and regulations and general labour relations. We hope to identify funds for this important activity as early as within the first quarter.

Membership

Our union has only 839 fully registered members paying check-off. The tragedy is that we are required to have at least 50% + 1 of the total number of employees fully registered before we can get into a recognition agreement with the employer. The Ministries of health have slightly over 3000 doctors in employment. What this means is that our recognition stands the danger of being rendered null and void if challenged. I will not attempt to emphasize the urgency with which we are supposed to regularize our membership dynamics. We also need to pursue recognition with institutions like KNH, MTRH, KEMRI, Ministry of Education in the public sector; as well as the private institutions. In the coming few days we will be launching a massive recruitment exercise countrywide, to be spearheaded by the branches. I will give more details on membership and its requirements. For now, let's get started with regard to recruitment, making it our problem, all of us. I suggest we prioritize this as the most urgent task for now. On this one, we will need to all cooperate. And participate. I have already circulated the current list to all branch secretaries. Please check with them for more details. Thanks and keep blessed

Dr Sultani Matendechero, Secretary General.



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2 comments
  • George Got
    George Got The work KMPDU is doing is great. I hold the view that regarding checkoff, the Union must move and get consent of the Labour Minister to deduct this amount as agency fees by legal order. You know human beings are strange. They love the Union yes, enjoy the terms the KMPDU has given, are poised to get more in the completed CBA but are either reluctant or generally disinterested in funding the Union! I may not blame it on the members. Kindly share with us which KMPDU members are remitting checkoff...  more
    February 15, 2013 - 2 like this
  • Sultani Matendechero
    Sultani Matendechero Find the list of the 836 fully signed up members in the 'documents' section of this page.There has been a constant reduction in number of paying mebers because it has been noted that not all paying members have signed up. The point is that even if you are already remitting check-off, make sure you sign up because sooner or later, your name will be removed from the check-off list.
    February 15, 2013